On August 30, top Chinese officials met to further define a national legislative framework for the social credit system.
Since 2014, when work on the social credit system began in earnest, China’s central government has been more or less content to sketch general guidelines for the SCS buildout (issuing a total of 26 national-level laws and 28 administrative regulations, as of September 2019), but has largely left provincial and city governments to hash out the details of how social credit is rolled out in their own localities.
The lack of specificity from the national government has lead to erratic implementation of the SCS. Though two-thirds of China’s provinces and autonomous regions have implemented social credit programs in one form or another, the programs themselves vary heavily, with different localities placing emphasis on different applications of the system, or developing conflicting scoring systems or non-uniform blacklists. This fragmentation has drawn criticism from China’s political and academic circles, who have called for stronger top-down standardization of the social credit system.
The August 30 symposium was presided over by Lian Weiliang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the government body responsible for the SCS buildout, and included officials from the People’s Bank of China, Ministry of Justice, as well as industry leaders, representatives from key universities and credit service agencies.
The meeting emphasized that the Party Central Committee and the State Council have put forward new requirements for further strengthening the construction of credit law and accelerating the promotion of social credit legislation.
This new legislation, “PRC Social Credit Law” (中华人民共和国社会信用法), has already been drafted for internal discussion, but hasn’t yet been released for public comment. We hope to see this out within the next 12 months.